Wot I Think: Moebius

By John Walker on April 15th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

One of the higher profile Kickstarters in the Great Wave of 2012 was Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s half-million pot for her new Pinkerton Road Studio. The first project to emerge from this, in collaboration with Phoenix Online, is Moebius: Empire Rising. A brand new adventure game featuring a genius antiques dealer and a worldwide, history-spanning mystery. Is it any good? Spoiler: No, it’s astonishingly terrible. Here’s wot I think:

Moebius wasn’t so much an emotional rollercoaster as an emotional fall down a hole. I went from mildly interested, to laughing at how stupid it is, to hating it with a fiery passion. You find me in that latter mode, now the achingly long, tedious adventure is finally over.

What begins as a distracting, almost charmingly old-school point and click adventure quickly dives into a humourless farce, before finding its groove as the most pedantic, tiresome and misanthropic slog in a good long year.

I’ll say one thing for the storytelling in Moebius – it’s cleverly structured such that the full extent of how brain-punchingly stupid it is comes too far in, such that it has to be considered a spoiler. Cunning.

But here’s what I can safely tell. You mostly play as the ludicrously named Malachi Rector (I couldn’t tell if the homonym of “Mr Rector”/”Misdirector” was deliberate, but considering everything else in the plot this would seem an optimistic reach), a New York-based British antiques expert with a purported IQ of 170, a photographic memory, and the personality of a spoilt turd. This is a man – and I promise this is true – whose psychology is based on his mother’s being eaten by a lion in front of him when he was a child.

Rector has a special talent for being able to recognise the traits of a person, and when prompted by a mysterious secret government organisation (with a prominent logo in the entrance of their grand offices), finds he can compare people to his cranial archive of historic figures. No! Don’t be silly! It’s not true that absolutely everyone on Earth can see if cherry-picked elements of a person’s life are vaguely similar to someone else from off of history! ONLY MALACHI.

While in Egypt, taking a look at a potentially ancient relic for a client, Malachi bumps into David Walker, an American ex-Special Forces chap with the personality of a thinly sketched game character that no one really bothered developing. The two click, and Rector recognises that Walker would be a good bodyguard to accompany him in the dangerous world of antiques appraisal.

And so begin their adventures, as they attempt to identify a woman who might be a bit like some other woman from history, for a reason so stupid that upon its reveal my brain crawled out of my head, into a corner, and shot itself. And indeed so begins the most garish, clumsy attempt at a will-they-won’t-they between the two male leads, that reads like the most prudish slash fiction ever written.

Moebius appears to hold contempt for both men and women, which it exhibits in alternating sequences of patronising sexism. Men, in this game, are controlling, emotionless bastards, who find women stupid and contemptible. Women generously comply, by being portrayed as either astonishingly spiteful and vain (a favourite descriptive word of the game) or feeble and useless. As you jet around the world condemning everyone you meet on first glance, Moebius exists in a universe of the uniquely ghastly.

I say this as someone who genuinely enjoys well-crafted misanthropic leads. Give me a Gregory House or Patrick Jane any day. I’m loving what Jonny Lee Miller is doing with Holmes. But for it to work, two things have to be nailed. First, they have to actually be cleverer than everyone else. Second, they need to be more than a broomstick, mop head on top, with a glued on paper plate face. Malachi Rector is neither. There is no moment in the entire game when he demonstrates his brilliant mind – instead he is a deeply mundane person, whose only seeming talent is to know a bit about antiquities.

There’s a flailing attempt to gamify that favourite thing of all Holmesian characters – to quickly piece together a person based on observable clues. Look at a character, click on the brain icon, and you get a screen in which you make facile judgements of them based on nothing other than guessing. A drop down menu will appear offering three guesses for three or four aspects of a person, and once you’ve randomly selected them all correctly the game will declare that yes, this is the fourth woman you meet who is instantly dismissed as vain, jealous and bitter. I generally found the way to get these right first time was to be as contemptuous about them as possible.

The other gimmicky feature ties into Malachi’s extraordinary and unique ability to notice that a person has stuff in common with another person. As you investigate people, you gather “data points” about them. Revelations like “they have a brother” or “their parents were rich”, and then in an existential version of Guess Who, you eliminate a cluster of historical or mythical figures because they had a sister, or their parents weren’t rich. These sequences are horribly ambiguous, and very poorly delivered, making what is meant to be the game’s main hook its largest pain in the arse.

This charmless, clumsy mess can’t fall back on its looks, either. The sterile presentation is made ridiculous thanks to what looks like placeholder animations. Legs bend and stretch in hilariously painful ways, feet sink into floors, and everyone looks like their joints are constantly dislocating. And it’s so damned slow. Everyone moves like they’re at the bottom of a glue-filled swimming pool, including your mouse cursor, that for no given reasons will vanish for random lengths of time. While you can mercifully double-click to teleport around scenes, or jump to exits, you’ll still be punished by having to watch a slow-motion arrival into the next. Then the cursor will go. Then Malachi will go into his aching pill-taking animation.

It also manages to throw a new twist on inventory puzzle horror. While there are still idiotic random-on-random nonsenses, like using the florist putty on the window pole to retrieve the hook from the bottom of the river (no, I swear), here they double-down on the stupid by refusing to let you pick up objects before their abstract purpose has become a need. Yes, in some ways it’s more realistic that someone wouldn’t pick up the scissors in the kitchen before they knew they needed to cut something. But when almost every item’s eventual use is so disingenuous, it makes the process utterly agonising. So many times I thought I’d reached a dead end, because a tiny object Rector said he didn’t need five screens ago was then deemed vital for an undeclared purpose. Even worse, it does this with locations too. One puzzle near the end of the game required magically knowing Malachi would now go into a bar in a city in another state that he had adamantly refused to enter at every other point in the game, including only moments earlier in the same chapter.

One puzzle requires you to bribe an explicitly teenage girl to bend over such that her arse will distract an adult man while you steal from him. Another requires you to bestow a woman with empty gestures and gifts until she’s interested in sleeping with you, whereupon the only correct solution to the following sequence is to horrifically threaten to murder her with a knife, in possibly the most ill-advised scene I’ve seen in a long time.

Another puzzle requires seeing a vital email, where you have access to both the sender and recipient. The recipient refuses to let you, but when you visit the sender the game hasn’t even thought of that as a potential solution, and there’s no conversation option to ask. In fact, this sort of thing is rife throughout, where blatant solutions aren’t even considered. And then, in the final third, as a nice surprise it introduces fail-based game overs!

If your adventure game is barely coherent, it’s best to avoid killing the character at random. That’s a tip there. And so random. Right near the very end, opening a gate near a hole triggers a sequence where the game takes over, forces your characters to walk through, climb down the hole, and then kills you at the bottom. The game over screen informs you that you ought to have prevented yourself from being followed. ALL I DID WAS OPEN A GATE!

Moebius is an utter disaster of a game. An entirely unlikeable or vacuous cast, a contempt for women like I’ve never seen, and indeed almost equal contempt for men, gibberish puzzles, ghastly animation, flawed conceits, the stupidest plot idea I can remember, and the whole thing scored with lift music. It’s as if the moustache puzzle from Gabriel Knight 3 got an agent, and a starring role as an entire game.

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168 Comments »

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  1. TehK says:

    John is on sabbatical. What is this? An imposter?

  2. Premium User Badge

    Goodtwist says:

    6/10 ?

    • John Connor says:

      I feel like the only thing this game has achieved is providing ammunition for people who think women shouldn’t make games.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        It’s almost as if someone’s skill as a developer should be more important than their gender.

  3. Sleeping_Wolf says:

    “These sequences are horribly ambiguous, and very poorly delivered, making what is meant to be the game’s main hook its largest pain in the arse.”

    So, the lead should have been named Ma-achi Rectum perhaps? Sorry, could resist a bit of puerile fun! At least it would have given a bit more oomph to the slash fiction then.

  4. Premium User Badge

    P7uen says:

    Whatever that Kickstarter raised it was worth it just for this resulting WIT, fantastic read.

  5. Choca says:

    Sounds pretty good, where can I pre-order it ?

  6. Premium User Badge

    9of9 says:

    Cognition, Phoenix’s last outing, is one of the only two games on Steam I legitimately regret paying money for. I don’t know how John was able to bear it, starting from the dialogue all the way up to the ‘I will now walk forward at a 45-degree angle’ animations, but it always seemed clear, starting from the trailers, that this game would be nothing short of abysmal.

    • Premium User Badge

      slerbal says:

      Oh god yes… I wanted to like that game but instead I hated it so much that I wish I had owned it on physical DVD so I could smash it into pieces. It was so frustratingly slow, populated by idiots, spouting meaningless drivel and glitchy.

  7. Premium User Badge

    daphne says:

    Although I really enjoyed the read (and will indeed stay fucking clear)…

    “One puzzle requires you to bribe an explicitly teenage girl to bend over such that her arse will distract an adult man while you steal from him. ”

    …augmenting this colorful description with a screenshot just above seems like a questionable course of action. Or is that not a screenshot from the puzzle and it’s just my dirty mind making an association?

  8. Premium User Badge

    Kemuel says:

    Weren’t all the Gabriel Knight games mostly crap? I remember reading the reviews for them in PCG as a kid and thinking Lucas Arts were the only company who ever made adventures worth playing.

    • malkav11 says:

      No. Not at all. Even GK3, while rightly derided for the cat mustache puzzle and being encumbered by early, awkward 3D, is on the whole fairly brilliant.

      • Widthwood says:

        GK3 proves that many creative people work best under pressure and with constant fighting with upper management, instead of just giving free reign to themselves.

        • Booker says:

          Seriously? How so?

          • Widthwood says:

            GK3 had pretty rough production history, iirc. With entire 3D format being forced on the team from upper management, and in general it wasn’t just Jane doing whatever she was most comfortable with.

            Another example of 3D being forced on developers is (dot dot dot) Grim Fandango! Which in the end also worked perfectly (sans retarted controls)

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      Nope. The Gabriel Knight series is one of the few exceptions in which Sierra managed to deliver something that was not only tolerable, but really quite exceptional (despite some major technical issues). The infamous GK3 cat moustache thing, silly as it was, was something of a scapegoat, really; the series in general is definitely among the genre’s high water marks.

      • John Walker says:

        And many Space Quests, Police Quests, Quest For Glories, etc.

        • Premium User Badge

          basilisk says:

          All Space Quests, Police Quests and King’s Quests are rubbish. Sorry about that. I do agree about the Glories, though.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            I like the King’s Quest games. Part nostalgia since KQ1 was literally the first game I played, but for all their design flaws they were really enjoyable, with KQ6 being the best in the series.

          • Berzee says:

            Have you an interest in tinder boxes?

        • Philomelle says:

          Space Quests, while funny, were really only tolerable. Fail-based game overs every three steps, unnecessarily obtuse puzzle solutions, narrative only sometimes remembering how to keep itself together. While not the worst examples of the genre, it says much that my experience with Space Quest 5 at an early age nearly turned me off adventure games completely.

          • dskzero says:

            You see, my friend, that was more or less the point.

          • Tacroy says:

            Ugh Space Quest IV was the literal worst.

            There was an item you could pick up in the first area that would explode and kill you in the fourth area.

            Once you picked the item up it would explode and kill you if you tried to drop it.

            The only solution is to revert to your save from the first area and not pick the item up. And then redo the whole game over again.

            I could maybe understand this if it killed you at the end of the first area, but it just waits way too long for the shoe to drop.

          • lokimotive says:

            Tacroy, if you’re referring to the ‘unstable ordinance’ I’m not sure if you’re remembering that correctly. You can pick up an unstable ordinance from a downed ship in the very first area, and the narrator is quite adamant about it being a bad idea that you pick it up. You actually can’t leave the area without it exploding, though, as it will blow up, and blow you up with it when you try to exit through a storm drain or something.

            However, when you pick it up the game gives you 100 or so points (Sierra adventure games used a point system, and they would work to track how many puzzles you solved etc.), when you put it back, you would lose points. Such a transaction made it seem like you really needed the unstable ordinance despite the narrator insisting that it was a bad idea. The joke is that even though you got 100 points for picking it up, you would only lose 99 points for putting it back. So if you picked it up, exploded trying to get to the next area, restored a game, and then chose not to take part in the whole charade, you would get to the end of the game and wonder why you were missing one puzzle point.

            These types of things, especially in Space Quest, seem like meta jokes on the whole system. The fact that Lucas Arts was simultaneously making games that didn’t even bother with the whole death every few seconds game structure, however, makes the whole thing seem rather sadistic. But I think that was kind of the point. Sierra made fun of LucasArts’ approach (in Space Quest IV no less) and LucasArts made fun of Sierra (pointedly in Secret of Monkey Island). I’m sure many words could be written about the implications of both approaches.

        • Yglorba says:

          Laura Bow 1 was really good, too. I mean, it had lots of headscratchers plotwise and was completely jam-packed with random arbitrary deaths, but overall it was fun to play.

          (Significantly, while it was filled with arbitrary deaths, the game itself was actually much “kinder” than most Sierra games in other respects — the game mostly avoided silly / unnecessary puzzles, and as I recall most of the “traditional” puzzles were actually optional. My favorite part, though, was that it was easy to reach the end of the game with only a partial understanding of what was going on — at which point the game would let you browse through your notebook and provide gentle hints about what and where you could investigate to learn more about the various character’s stories. This added replay value while cutting down on frustration, since you could solve the “main” plot relatively easily and decide based on that whether you want to replay it and dig deeper.)

    • The First Door says:

      Just for balance, I will say that yes, yes they were, at least in my opinion. I’ve never understood why some people like them, as I always thought there were utterly, utterly rubbish. Not saying people shouldn’t like them, just I never quite understood their appeal.

      Give me Broken Sword any day! Unless that day is Broken Sword 3 day, of course.

  9. Shadowcat says:

    What’s it’s time-to-crate?

  10. knellr says:

    I’m just glad this is over so I can stop receiving the free monthly wallpaper.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      Heh! Me, too.

      Some Kickstarters I’ll win, some I’ll lose. Looks like this one is the latter. Ah, well.

  11. lokimotive says:

    This review makes me long for John Walker to write long form contemptuous walkthrough.

    • Tacroy says:

      It would be as great as Old Man Murray talking about Gabriel Knight.

    • The Random One says:

      John Walker
      is on Patreon
      making
      TRANSMETROPOLITAN CONTEMPTUOUS REVIEWS

  12. Premium User Badge

    Csirke says:

    So, I take it, your opinions have changed since this?
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/07/17/hands-on-jane-jensens-moebius/

    Which is of course okay, I’m just curious whether you would condemn those early parts of the game too, now? Or is it that those parts that were in the demo are enjoyable, but the rest fails to live up to it?

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      phlebas says:

      “What begins as a distracting, almost charmingly old-school point and click adventure…”

    • John Walker says:

      As the review says, it began being mildly interesting and charming. And from that, I had hopes. The premise, as I noted back in the preview, was extremely daft in those first two chapters, but there was something pleasingly competent about it all. And it had so much promise. It felt like the beginning of a big, interesting story.

      It really wasn’t.

      Everything in that preview that evoked, “Gosh, I’m excited about where this is heading!” ended up going nowhere, or just to awful, stupid places. The daftness just becomes utter gibberish. As I said back then, “What I’ve played is far too little to give an impression on whether the story and concept will hold up.” And sadly, it didn’t. At all.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Wow, it’s amazing how the exact same things can be cast in a completely different light when you are unaware of the horrors to come.

  13. hjarg says:

    I am glad games like this are made. Then i can read reviews like this. Thanks for the laughters!

    • Chalky says:

      Yeah, if nothing else, shitty games like this at least give us an amusing read from these sort of articles.

      Thanks for putting yourself though this so we don’t have to John :D

      • Cigol says:

        I’m sure the people responsible didn’t set out to make an awful game though, so there’s that to consider.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Mr Walker, could you write a big, fat spoiler warning, and then reveal what makes the plot so incredibly stupid? I don’t want to play the game, but I’m curious.

    • Robmonster says:

      I’d love to find out the full extent of the batshit craziness

  15. Trithne says:

    So, Jane Jensen raises half a million dollars to resurrect adventure games so she can kill them again?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Ironically, that almost sounds like the plot of a point and click adventure game.

      • Premium User Badge

        slerbal says:

        More than that, I think it sounds like the plot of a *great* point and click adventure. If Wadjet made it I’d be all over it. It is amazing what wonderful games they make with smaller budgets, smaller teams but infinitely more talent. I write this as I listen to the wonderful soundtrack for Primordia.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Ohman everytime I go anywhere near GoG I remember that I still haven’t tried Primordia. Really that good?

          • Premium User Badge

            slerbal says:

            It has a great soundtrack reminiscent of Blade Runner, the visuals pull all my heart strings as they remind me of the work of the wonderfully talented Phillippe Druillet and Moebius (nothing to do with the game above!), and I enjoyed the game play. I don’t think it is radical, but it reminded me of the stuff I loved in Beneath a Steel Sky. It doesn’t innovate on the adventure game setup much and has a few moments which are a bit silly, but overall: yes I like it.

            I also really enjoyed Gemini Rue. I’ve not played the Blackwell games yet and they are generally considered excellent and I am going to give them a go soon.

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            I really enjoyed Primordia (unlike Richard Cobbett! The mad person!), but I think it’s perhaps the weakest of the Wadjet Eye games.

            I still think Resonance is the best they’ve put out and I hope Vince Twelve is working on something new.

            That’s not a mark against Blackwell though as I’ve already preordered the new one, and it’s not even a mark on Primordia. It’s great, but not as good as the others. And the art, music and voice acting is great.

            I’d buy it if you like the sort of games.

          • karthink says:

            There’s a moment in Primordia where Wadget Eye believes grease behaves like glue. Well, there are a few of them. But if you can get past them, it’s good.

    • Widthwood says:

      Didn’t Tim Shafer already kill adventure games with Broken Age? Not to mention the time where Tim Shafer killed adventure games with Grim Fandango.

      • Premium User Badge

        slerbal says:

        Grim Timdango & Incoherent Jensen: Killer of Adventure Games!

        :D

        • Widthwood says:

          Honestly, I hope Tim Shafer would kill adventure games more often.

          Could do without Jane, though.

    • giuliop says:

      Tim Schafer did it first.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    NOT ALL 28% likely rapists rape.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      You got numbers (preferably in percentile format) to back that percentage up?

      • Premium User Badge

        Rublore says:

        I think my buddies 48% and 13% would happily back 28% up in a fight.

  17. MykulJaxin says:

    I glanced through all the screenshots before reading the article, and when I first saw Mom being eaten by the lion it read as a woman crawling away from her lover on the bed with a frightening lion picture above the headboard. Her fingers popping out of the frame made it look like it was just a strange painting behind her.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I am almost infinitely relieved to know that it wasn’t just me.

  18. tnzk says:

    You know how there are those movies that are so bad they’re good? This is the video game version of that. I can’t want to play this. I knew from the demo it was going to be terrible.

    And to think, I’ve currently been playing Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Now that’s a quality adventure.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Yea, “…it’s astonishingly terrible.”

      Really? Someone didn’t watch the same trailers I did….

  19. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    “British antiques expert with a purported IQ of 170, a photographic memory, and the personality of a spoilt turd.”

    Hello Sherlock.

    • Geebs says:

      How does one spoil a turd anyway?

      (Although if that turd is Sherlock the TV series, the answer might be to make Watson’s wife an assassin oh Jesus fuck that’s so stupid)

  20. Philomelle says:

    Dammit, John. Now I’ll have to resist buying this game right now just so I can see if it’s as god-bloody-awful as you make it sound.

    Was this your plan? To create the Ride to Hell: Retribution of adventure games and fuck with some marketing heads?

  21. Bishop says:

    I didn’t know games journalists had to complete games. That’s a nightmare of a job. Way to stamp on my dreams! I thought you could roll up, play 2 minutes and declare it terrible. (which is what I did with the demo).

  22. Premium User Badge

    El Goose says:

    So is this the first high profile Kickstarter game since the explosion in 2012 to be thoroughly rubbish?

    • tomimt says:

      There are a lot of people who disliked Larry Reloeaded even more. Though I personally liked that one.

      • Tacroy says:

        Larry Reloaded was only as bad as the original, really.

        • TheTingler says:

          Yeah, that really was the problem there. The actual “remake” part of it was very well made and Kickstarter backers got exactly what was advertised, but it just hammered home how out of date the original now is.

          • tomimt says:

            True that. They really could have gone further with remake. It looked and sounded nice, but in the end it has a load of the same flaws the original game has. It’s still my favourite version of the game, despite it could have been so much more.

    • Philomelle says:

      To my knowledge, it’s the fourth.

      Strike Suit Zero, in its current state, is very mediocre if you’re being kind to it. In its on-release condition, the game won the dubious award of the worst space combat sim I have ever played. Legends of Dawn was almost legendarily bad, while Windforge’s on-release condition is best compared to an early alpha.

      • kwyjibo says:

        Takedown pulled in $200k and turned out to be absolute ass.

        Clang pulled in $500k and never delivered.

    • Premium User Badge

      El Goose says:

      Ah, ok, I’d forgotten about those. I remember Jim talking on a podcast in the early days of the whole Kickstarter thing when he pondered what would happened when one of the games turned out to be rubbish, whether it would spark a mass disillusionment with Kickstarter games or something like that. It seems that these things are always less epochal than one thinks they will be though, so I doubt this is really going to change anything.

  23. altum videtur says:

    … so it still has more “gameplay” than WAFFLEMONGOUS, right?

  24. Keshik says:

    “Men, in this game, are controlling, emotionless bastards, who find women stupid and contemptible. Women generously comply, by being portrayed as either astonishingly spiteful and vain (a favourite descriptive word of the game) or feeble and useless.”

    Seems like real life to me, why’s this a bad thing ?

  25. tomimt says:

    While I didn’t hate the game in the same extent you did, I have to agree that it isn’t a very good game. Techncally it’s broken, the animations and character models are just plain bad and the plot propably is the weakest Jane Jensen has written.

    It’s pretty much impossible to recommend Moebius to some one who doesn’t like Jensen’s work and is willing to overlook the failings of the design and writing. When I was following the Kickstarter I was hoping the writing would have been the saving grace of it, but in the end it isn’t. A damn shame.

  26. AngoraFish says:

    I’ve backed almost every Kickstarter, ever. Thank god this was not one of them.

  27. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    I backed the kickstarter for this game and don’t regret it, in the sense that I knew the result might well end up a stinking pile of crap, and that backing means taking your chances.

    What I will probably regret is selecting 2 days ago, as the kickstarter reward, Moebius over the GK1 remake.

  28. googoogjoob says:

    “An entirely unlikeable or vacuous cast, a contempt for women like I’ve never seen, and indeed almost equal contempt for men, gibberish puzzles, ghastly animation, flawed conceits, the stupidest plot idea I can remember, and the whole thing scored with lift music.”

    Are you sure this paragraph isn’t lifted from a review of Deponia?

  29. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    I have to admit the beta tests didn’t inspire great hope in me. Still I’ll play it through as I’ve paid for it after all. All I can say is you win some and you lose some, the other big adventure come back I put money into on KS starter in my mind turned out just fine and dandy (BS5). I have been pleasantly surprised how many things I’ve backed on Kickstarter have turned out just fine, both hardware, art and software. There’s bound to be some hiccups, like spread betting! At least the game has been finished and is out for backers to play, regardless of its quality the promises were kept.

  30. derbefrier says:

    funny review. Its a shame though while i wont say i have really missed the point and click adventure genre it does still hold a certain charm and if this was any good i probably would have bought it for a rainy day. Oh well guess i’ll just pick up Loom or something if I get the urge to do some pointing clinking adventuring.

  31. Lusketrollet says:

    “…reads like the most prudish slash fiction ever written.”

    Ah. So, Twilight, then?

    Also, these things which the article states as being offensive – are they real world-offensive, or RPS-offensive ?

  32. benexclaimed says:

    Well, that sucks. After playing the demo and finding myself unable to bear the tedious animations and dialogue I can’t say I’m surprised, though.

  33. Laurentius says:

    Ah yes, another WITs from the bottom of biorythm cycle, how many days ago were Splunky, and aha Thi4f were the top of the cycles, probably could draw a graph if only these WITs have weekly schedule.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      You’re right, there’s definitely a clearly evident pattern here. Let me take a shot at this.
      Let’s see… good games are made, and positive WITs are written. Bad games are made, and bad WITs are written?
      I think I’ve got it.

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      Anthile says:

      What does that even mean.

      • Laurentius says:

        It means in hyperbolic way that I find some emotional bipolarity in many of John Walker’s WITs, like in this review, this genuine nastiness that rubs me wrong way and certainly nastiness of PC port WITs of Spelunky rubbed me the wrong way. Even if it was the worst port in history and even came and kick John in the bum and I would still find that WIT unnecessary, like you know when someone accidently stomp on your feet and you scream at them at the top of your voice even before that person can say is sorry. You know, unnecessary.

        • pilouuuu says:

          It’s like it’s wrong to call Luke Skywalker a hero. Or how we shouldn’t call Joffrey a prick. If you like a game you will use nice adjectives. If you hate a game you will call it an utter piece of turd.

      • Skull says:

        I think he means John’s WITof Spelunky was so bad (tbf it was a terrible piece of writing) that he will never trust John’s opinion again.

        I don’t really know how that is relevant and if he wants ignore John and think this game is good then he is welcome too. Personally, I find all the authors on RPS (or any author) has an off day every now and then but if the general output of their work is of good quality then no need to completely dismiss them.

        • Laurentius says:

          No dude, I’m not arguing that the game is good, it’s just that even in this review there is a word “misantrophic” and it fits this review in a way but i don’t understand why these certain reviews sport this genuine nastiness. Ok, i get it, this is a bad game , a really, really bad game. Still, it’s not a scam, it’s just a bad game, noone is really hurt, no one is forced to buy it or play it, I don’t know, i feel it is uncessary.

          • The Random One says:

            Do you even know what the word ‘misanthropic’ means? I haven’t played the game, so maybe John is talking out of his ass, but if what he’s saying is true, misanthropic is a perfect descriptor.

  34. archiebunker says:

    TW: Rape humour

    Would I be able to get a hi-res version of that final picture? It needs to be my desktop wallpaper.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    This is like a Saturday Crapshoot from the future. Great review but I can’t wait to see what Mr Cobbett has to say about this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      Crapshoot doesn’t mean it’s crap though. :P It’s a roll on the dice. And frankly, I doubt this will be a roll of the dice for mr. Cobbett.

    • uriele says:

      Honestly… It’s not a bad game. Way better than Cognition and Deponia, not remotely as good as a Gabriel Knight. The main problem is the final chapter that is both random and inconclusive. It has the same problem of Jensen’s last game, Grey Matter, fun to play till the end and then random puzzles threw at you from a different universe. (And Richard Cobbett wrote an almost positive review of Moebius on his webpage)

  36. Philomelle says:

    Meanwhile, one of the developers makes an awkward stab at John Walker over at the Steam forums in response to being shown this review.

    “From the same reviewer who liked Larry Reloaded. Says everything that needs to be said about the type of games this guy enjoys, and really has no bearing on whether anybody else will like the game more or less than he did.”

    Yeah, don’t think I’ll be buying this game for anything more than a heavy discount. Thank goodness my like of things so terrible they’re gorgeous is outweighed by my dislike for lacking dignity.

  37. natendi says:

    Is that ‘28% chance of rape’ a genuine in game image? If so, shocking…

    • benexclaimed says:

      Yep. It’s included in the demo, actually. Like 30 seconds in.

      • natendi says:

        I was going to ask you to clarify in what context the 28% is being used or has been calculated before I settled on ‘Why is this feature even included?’

        • benexclaimed says:

          Even though you decided not to ask, you basically just encounter the guy and all of this information immediately pops up onscreen. That’s one of about a hundred other fun tidbits.

          • natendi says:

            Haha, thanks for letting me know! Curious and curiouser decisions by the devs!

        • uriele says:

          It’s a take on BBC Sherlock’s mind place. When Malachi looks at people he tries to estimate the likeness of some events (being mugged, killed, raped, or worse…)

        • Robert says:

          It’s a cheap suggestive screenshot though. The main character is quite paranoid and is ‘calculating’ the odds of a robbery (percentage counting down), rape (percentage counting down) or that his vehicle broke down (percentage counting down).

          I’d describe it as to illustrate the main characters character, worrying about the worst things that could happen and then realising it’s actually not that likely.

    • TheTingler says:

      I just want to know if that’s Malachi wondering if he should rape the guy…

    • Premium User Badge

      Vesuvius says:

      Your character calculates rape percentages for everyone they talk to throughout the game I hope?

      • qrter says:

        Must make family gatherings even more disturbing than normal (if there’s anyone left that’s not been eaten alive by a big cat).

  38. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    Let’s all hold hands and compare rape percentages

  39. EkoAzarak says:

    Does this game have any connection to the Jean Giraud sci-fi comics from the 60-70s?

  40. Barchester says:

    Dear gods, that sounds dire indeed. Afraid to download and actually worried I even backed this in the first place. Should have known better. Jensen just doesn’t get adventure games.

    • Keshik says:

      Why do you say she doesn’t get them ? The GK series was pretty good, at the very least for storywise (GK still is the King of the series).

      • Barchester says:

        The first GK was good, nothing more (i.e. not legendarily fantastic). The rest after that, not so much.

        Jane Jensen is very much stuck in Sierra’s “broken gameplay is alright” attitude, and that just doesn’t fly any more these days.

        • Widthwood says:

          3rd GK was good before it went too absurd (meaning right up to the very ending)
          Maybe the story itself wasn’t really groundbreaking, but the way it was intertwined with puzzles I think was perfect. Player could miss stuff, could leave unsolved puzzles, and in the end it still got together. An almost non-linear adventure if you will – definitely not something you see often.
          Also the encyclopedia was great to have, most of it again being completely optional.

    • DrMcCoy says:

      Gabriel Knight 1 was really great, though. The second one was great too, if you ignore the issue of alleged native German speakers clearly not being able to speak German.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        NAIN ICK SPRECKE KAIN AENGLISCH is one of those things that have never stopped amusing me. Still hilarious after almost 20 years.

    • mrmalodor says:

      She does sorta get them. GK1 and Gray Matter are decent games. Not sure what happened this time.

  41. geldonyetich says:

    Nonsense, Moebius is a fantastic game, except I keep getting killed by ninjas and that warlord is a real jerk.

    Oh, I see, this is another game called Moebius. Well, surely the ninjas are better than ever…? Oh… oh dear…

  42. Premium User Badge

    airknots says:

    Backed this. Doubts began when I saw the character models. Maybe I’ll still give it a try after I finish Broken Age and Broken Sword.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I backed this, too – and had doubts the moment I saw the first character and, worse, heard his name.

      Also backed both the Brokens. Sword I managed to endure the whole of the first half, Age I am really struggling with. It’s just so breathtakingly twee and dull.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      The trend of broken continues?

      Also Broken Sword, which I didn’t back but later bought, is ace!

    • Robert says:

      Backed both this and Broken Sword. I stopped halfway during part 1 of Broken Sword. Partially due to the fact that I didn’t realise it was cut in half and partially because it didn’t grip me. Based on that half of part 1 of BS, and having just finished Moebius. I prefer Moebius. Broken Sword is actually next now that part 2 is getting released.

  43. Commander Gun says:

    I weep for this. I so hoped there was a spark of the Original GK in this game.

  44. Skabooga says:

    Whatever its sins, Moebius’s existence is vindicated by that lion picture.

    • Philomelle says:

      You don’t even have to play the game to see it. That entire scene was distributed as a free comic book to promote the game.

      The comic book made absolutely no sense. I was hoping the game would fix that.

  45. botonjim says:

    From the USGamer review:

    “Malachi Rector is one of the most brilliantly flawed protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of controlling in quite some time”
    “the puzzles are eminently logical and sensible in nature”
    “Robert Holmes’ excellent soundtrack fits the on-screen action and various locales extremely well, but also has a somewhat nostalgic bent, bringing adventure games of the past to mind”

    I know, different opinions and all, but could both reviews truly refer to the same game? I reckon John should challenge Pete Davison to a duel or something.

    Unfortunately (since I backed this) after playing a bit of the demo I’m somewhat more inclined to trust John on this one.

    • Widthwood says:

      Even the worst adventure games for some reason tend to get glowing reviews.
      Not sure if this is nostalgia, or some people are just born to play adventure games – but you can click pretty much any adventure from recent years in metacritic (90% of which are total crap) and get at least some positive reviews.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Pffft. All that needs to be said about Pete Davison is that Kieron Gillen would never have travelled with him.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      It’s pretty easy to explain. Some people genuinely can’t understand that psychopaths are not a good thing or they simply don’t recognize psychopathy when they see it. I bet you the reviewer who found the Moebius main character fun also thinks the main character from Drive is a heroic character.

      • malkav11 says:

        “brilliantly flawed” sounds like recognizing that to me.

        • MajesticXII says:

          Seems like some people can’t quite recognize what other people recognize after all

      • Ragnar says:

        Come now, Fox News. That’s like describing Mass Effect as “a game where you get to fuck a blue alien.”

        Have you actually played Kana Little Sister?

    • TheTingler says:

      If there’s one thing this game does not have, beyond any sense of argument, it’s a good soundtrack. It’s like someone dropped keyboard cat down the stairs.

  46. Robert says:

    Hum, I’m quite a while in, and I’m really enjoying myself with it. I found it equally as enjoyable Grey Matter, except for the animations. Those are not ok.

    We’ll see how I think when I finish it.

    • botonjim says:

      There seems to be an issue with the animations if the refresh rate is set at 120 Hz or higher. Makes them extra ugly, so it’s better to switch to 60 Hz.

  47. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Surprised nobody is commenting on the “brain icon” which was the stand-out part for me.

    It’s the next piece of the adventure gaming jigsaw! Space Quest IV did the leg-work with the “taste” and “smell” icons, now all we need is a “listen” icon and all will be complete.

  48. jfrisby says:

    I agree with this review. [a backer]

  49. PsychoWedge says:

    Funny that all the three Steam reviews as of the time of writing this are word bundles of glowing enthusiasm and recommendation…